US singer Tony Bennett (Anthony Dominick Benedetto) performs onstage during an invitation-only concert at the newly opened Encore Boston Harbor Casino in Everett, Massachusetts.
Sad news

Legendary singer Tony Bennett is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease

“I have my moments, and it gets very difficult,” Bennett’s wife, Susan Crow, said.

Legendary singer Anthony Dominick Benedetto, known professionally as Tony Bennett, has had Alzheimer’s disease since 2016. The 94-year-old New York native star told AARP he has not yet experienced disorientation or rage, “but there was little doubt that the disease had progressed.”

“[Tony Bennett has] cognitive issues, but multiple other areas of his brain are still resilient and functioning well,” said Bennett’s doctor, Lenox Hill Hospital neurologist Gayatri Devi, M.D. “He is doing so many things, at 94, that many people without dementia cannot do. He really is the symbol of hope for someone with a cognitive disorder.”

“I have my moments, and it gets very difficult,” Bennett’s wife, Susan Crow, said. “It’s no fun arguing with someone who doesn’t understand you... But I feel badly talking about it because we are so much more fortunate than so many people with this diagnosis. We have such a good team. Danny handles Tony’s business affairs. We have great doctors.“

According to the publication, after Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett’s Cheek to Cheek album became a success, the good friends started discussing a follow-up.

LADY GAGA JAZZ & PIANO at Park Theater at Park MGM in Las Vegas©GettyImages
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett

They started recoding the songs from 2018 and early 2020, and it is expected they release the new project this spring. “I wanted to check with her to make sure she was cool,” Tony’s son, Danny Benedetto, said to AARP. “Because she watches his back all the time. She was like, ‘Absolutely; it’s just another gift that he can give to the world.’”

“‘You sound so good, Tony,’ she tells him at one point. ‘Thanks,’ is his one-word response. She says that she thinks ‘all the time’ about their 2015 tour. Tony looks at her wordlessly. ‘Wasn’t that fun every night?’ she prompts him. ‘Yeah,’ he says, uncertainly,” the AARP article reads. “The pain and sadness in Gaga’s face is clear at such moments — but never more so than in an extraordinarily moving sequence in which Tony (a man she calls ‘an incredible mentor, and friend, and father figure’) sings a solo passage of a love song. Gaga looks on, from behind her mic, her smile breaking into a quiver, her eyes brimming, before she puts her hands over her face and sobs.”

Lady Gaga "Joanne" World Tour - New York - Night 1©GettyImages
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett backstage before her “Joanne” World Tour at Citi Field on August 28, 2017, in New York.

“Singing is everything to him,” Crow said. “Everything. It has saved his life many times. Many times. Through divorces and things. If he ever stops singing, that‘s when we’ll know.”

According to Crow, he is not the same as before. “There’s a lot about him that I miss,” she said. “Because he’s not the old Tony anymore... But when he sings, he’s the old Tony.”

LG Signature At The American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala 2019©GettyImages
Tony Bennett

The singer shared the story on social media and thanked his family for always been there for him. “Life is a gift - even with Alzheimer’s,” he wrote. “Thank you to Susan and my family for their support, and @AARP The Magazine for telling my story.”

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